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10 Ways to Beat Prediabetes

10 Ways to Beat Prediabetes

According to diabetes.org, approximately 86 million American adults have prediabetes, and another 29.1 million have developed Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. There is a long list of health complications associated with being diabetic, so it is imperative for those in a prediabetic state to take immediate action to prevent the onset of this disease. Fortunately, you can get your health under control by implementing a few new practices into your daily routine.

1. Remove soda and sports drinks from your diet.

One of the biggest issues that people with diabetes face is difficulty keeping their blood sugar in line. If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, it is just as important to remove all unnecessary sugar from your diet. Caffeine can also cause problems, so your best bet is to stop drinking all regular sodas, sports drinks, sweet tea and anything else that contains caffeine. When temptation to grab a soda strikes, be sure to remind yourself that the average 12-ounce can is filled with the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar.

2. Start a regular exercise program.

Exercise and diet are two of the most important things for you to embrace if you want to avoid developing diabetes. Experts recommend working out for at least 30 minutes per day, and this may require some professional input or instruction to help ensure you stay safe and don’t get bored. For example, Les Mills fitness programs offer a wide variety of options, ranging from dancing to a full-body weights workout. Utilizing a program that allows you to learn many different things will make exercising more mentally and physically engaging, and it will also give you a better overall workout.

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3. Make the switch to low-fat dairy products.

The good news is that you do not need to completely give up dairy unless you’re lactose intolerant. However, your body will thank you for it if you begin substituting low-fat or no-fat dairy products. The American Diabetes Association advocates that this is one of the best ways to keep your intake of sugar and carbs low while still getting the necessary protein and calcium. You can get used to the lower fat products by gradually stepping down from whole fat to 2 percent, followed by 1 percent and, finally, no-fat.

4. Keep a diary of your food consumption and emotions.

A food diary is important for prediabetics and people with diabetes, and it can also be useful for everyone else. In a nutshell, you should write down what you eat, along with the time, and monitor yourself for any mood changes. Carefully capturing all of this information can help clue you in to which food items are causing you the most issues. Additionally, tracking your food will help you get a better idea of how healthy, or unhealthy, your daily diet actually is. From there, you can make the necessary changes to improve your health.

5. Replace bad carbs with whole grain food.

Whole grains have been found to help people avoid diabetes, and they can even prevent someone from reaching the prediabetic stage. In fact, studies have found that ingesting at least 59 grams of whole grains daily will reduce your odds of becoming prediabetic by 27 percent. Researchers also discovered that people who consume 30 grams or less of whole grains are at the highest risk of becoming diabetic. In other words, check your pasta, bread, cereal, and other grains to ensure that you are getting enough whole grains.

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6. Avoid juice and eat fruit instead.

Fruit juice might seem like a good idea, but the reality is that most of these drinks are packed with sugar. A comparison of soda and juice found that many popular juice items, including Minute Maid 100 percent Apple Juice, are just as bad, or even worse, than popular sodas such as Pepsi and Mountain Dew. Meanwhile, fruit has fiber and other nutrients that help your body better absorb their natural sugar content.

7. Increase your water consumption.

One of the issues that can plague people with prediabetes is feeling hungry even after they have eaten. Because of this, experts recommend increasing your daily water intake. It is best to drink a full glass of water after each meal, and you can also help ward off hunger by drinking another full glass with your food and in-between your typical meal times.

8. Commit to 8 hours of sleep per night.

Sleep deprivation is one of the many risk factors that can lead to prediabetes, so getting more than six hours of sleep every night is a must. However, if you are already prediabetic, you will want to commit yourself to a regular schedule that allows you to get eight hours of sleep every night. Doing this will help your body deal with the prediabetic stress, and it is one of many steps you can take to stop your downward spiral toward Type 2 diabetes.

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9. Remove junk food from your home.

Humans are creatures of habit, which means that if you keep junk food in your home, you are most likely going to eat it during moments of stress. If you must keep some unhealthy snacks in your house, be sure to put them out of sight so that you will be less likely to think of them when you are feeling hungry. Ideally, though, you will remove all of the candy and other junk food and replace it with easily accessible healthy snacks, including fruit and vegetables.

10. Reach for food that is high in fiber.

Food that is rich in fiber will typically have a lower glycemic index (GI), and this is an important component in reducing your blood sugar levels. Keep in mind that naturally occurring food sources are best because highly processed food tends to have a higher GI, regardless of the fiber content. In other words, it is best to choose high fiber food such as whole grain pasta, lentils and broccoli.

Another important thing you can do to help yourself is to become educated about the common diabetes misconceptions. Combining knowledge with lifestyle changes is truly the best way to stop prediabetes in its tracks.

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Featured photo credit: Image by Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Holly Chavez

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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